On the eve of the Giro d’Italia’s opening stage, Cyclingnews spoke with Fabian Cancellara after inviting our readers to post their questions for him by using the #AskFabian hashtag.
In his final season as a professional, the Trek-Segafredo rider is preparing to battle for his first maglia rosa in Friday's short time trial in Apeldoorn. Despite a bout of illness in the run-up to the race, Cancellara cast an eye back over his career as he answered readers’ questions on Thursday morning.
Question: How does your bucket list after cycling look? – Stephan Bijleveld (@SirPrizeMfakka)
Fabian Cancellara: Do you mean my to do list? Well in the winter time I want really go skiing. That's a big one on my list. I also want to get used to my 'second life', you know, do all the things like spend time with my family and friends at the weekends. That's something that's hard to do when you're a rider and at races all the time. I'm really looking forward to that.
Q: Who was your favourite roommate? Thank you – @my_shoes93
FC: That's a really difficult one. I've roomed with so many riders over the years but if you're going to put me on the spot then I would have to say either Stuart O'Grady or Yaroslav Popovych. They were probably my favourites. I got along with them and they gave me a lot of support and we had a lot of good talks over the years. Stuey had some experience and Popo has worked with so many big riders, so there was a great mix there. We also talked about a lot of things other than cycling. The main thing though was that we got on really well.
Q: What will Fabian miss MOST about being a pro cyclist? And miss LEAST about being a pro cyclist? — David W (@NotRoubaixCafe)
FC: Oh wow. I think what I miss the most is the fun factor within cycling. The sport now is too much about numbers and data. That's the way it is but when I grew up in cycling it wasn't about crazy numbers or data, it was more about a love of cycling and passion. I still have that but the sport has changed a bit in that way.
Q: What was your hardest day on a bike? – Patch (@patchthecyclist)
FC: That's really good question. I actually remember this because it's something Bradley Wiggins recently said and I have to agree. It was maybe the Tour of California, a few years ago, when the Canadian rider, [Dominique] Rollin, won the stage from Seaside to San Luis Obispo. I think it was 2008. It was such a hard day in the weather, so hard. Riders were stopping all over the road.
Q: After the disappointment of Paris-Roubaix are you going to ride next season until Paris-Roubaix? — Christian (@ChristianPoirot)
FC: No, no, no, no. And no. I made my decision and it's one that I'm going to stand with.
Q: Training Tips? Or Off-Season tips — Young Budweiser ® (@kevin_wasabi)
FC: For regular cyclists I think the most important off-season tip is to make sure that you have a good rest. It's the off-season so don't treat it like July or the spring. Another idea would be find alternative sports. You want to stay fit, in a general way, and doing nothing isn't going to help your body. You don't want to lose all your fitness, so try running or a bit of mountain biking. Have three or four weeks off the bike though, because sometimes what you really need more than anything is that mental rest, instead of a physical one for your body.
Q: Who is a promising young rider, your successor? — はげはげちゃびん (@hagehagechabin)
FC: Haha. I think that there's only one of me but seriously we've seen the start of the new generation with riders like [Peter] Sagan and [John] Degenkolb. These are going to be the riders for the Classics for the next few years. Then you have [Sep] Vanmarcke, [Greg] Van Avermaet too. This is the next generation that will battle in the Classics. My chapter is closing this year and I'm looking forward to seeing these riders on television as they fight for the big wins in the future.
Q: Is there anything lacking from your dream-career other than the Maglia Rosa? – Rui Duarte (@ruiduarte16)
FC: Of course there are two things missing. Maybe three. The Hour, the worlds on the road and the Ardennes Classics. They're missing but I'm not frustrated by that. It's just the truth and how things worked out. I know that the Worlds jersey is missing but look, Michele Bartoli also missed that win. He won lots of other amazing, nice races. I didn’t win the Worlds but I did have victories in many other nice races.
Q: Can I have your legs please? – The Puncheur (@thepuncheur)
FC: You want my legs? Sorry that's impossible.